Rebounds, second-chance points again crush Pistons chances in loss to 76ers
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Three quick observations from Wednesday night’s 124-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center
OVERPOWERED – It’s anyone’s guess what the Pistons frontcourt will look like next season given the pending free-agent status of Christian Wood, Thon Maker and John Henson, though Wood’s emergence and the fact the Pistons will have $35 million in cap space makes it likely they’ll seek to retain him. They’ll have Blake Griffin and Sekou Doumbouya back at power forward. How they fill out the rotation up front likely will be driven by finding players who can provide more physicality. For the second straight game, the Pistons were roughed up and hurt badly by second-chance points. After being outscored 19-7 by the Knicks in their last game, the Pistons were on the short end of a 22-5 count in second-chance points at Philadelphia, which outrebounded the Pistons 50-32. Christian Wood again was the bright spot for the Pistons, scoring 32 points – his fifth straight game of at least 20 points and the 10th time in his last 14 games he’s done so. The 32 were a career high for Wood, the third time in the last four games he’s established a new career high. Philadelphia improved to 29-2 at home, the NBA’s best home record, and is now a perfect 17-0 at home against teams with losing records. Tony Snell kept his perfect season at the foul line going, hitting three more to go 32 of 32 for the season.
STAYING FLUID – Given the dire warnings about the consequences of holding large public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dwane Casey is telling his players to be prepared for anything. NBA owners reportedly held a conference call late Wednesday to discuss options, but government pronouncements are already forcing alterations. The Golden State Warriors will host a game Thursday without fans after gatherings of more than 1,000 were banned by the city of San Francisco. “We have to roll with it,” Casey said. “It’s unprecedented. I have young kids and my whole thing is to make sure they’re safe and healthy and I’m sure you guys are doing the same thing. Our players – we’ve been through a lot, injuries. This is another cap on a tough season.” The 76ers issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon discouraging fans with any signs of illness or with underlying medical conditions to stay away from Wells Fargo Center.
RUNNING SHORT – More injuries meant more lineup disruptions for the Pistons. With John Henson and Bruce Brown out after suffering sprained ankles in Sunday’s loss at New York, Dwane Casey used his 32nd different starting lineup. Thon Maker replaced Henson with the starting unit, though he didn’t last long. Five minutes into the game, Maker was on the bench after picking up three quick fouls. That left the Pistons short on big men and meant lots of time for Donta Hall, playing his final game before his second 10-day contract expires. The Pistons will either have to sign Hall to a standard contract for the remainder of the season or see him return to the Grand Rapids Drive. Casey adjusted by using Christian Wood to give him some minutes at center in addition to power forward. Brown’s absence, after playing two weekend games following a four-game absence with a left knee injury, meant more time at point guard for Khyri Thomas. Thomas finished with four points in 14 minutes.